NSW Blues team for Origin game 3 (expert reaction)

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    NSW Blues team - Origin game three.

    New South Wales State of Origin rugby league player Jarryd Hayne selected for State of Origin game 3. NSW will play Queensland in the third game of the three match series in Brisbane on July 6th. (AAP Image/Paul Miller)

    NSW selectors and coach Ricky Stuart have understandably kept the faith in the NSW Blues team that won State of Origin 2011 game 2, and will attempt to head to Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane for the deciding match with a team that is largely unchanged.

    Looking for Queensland’s team?
    Queensland side for Origin 3 (expert reaction)

    The NSW team for game 3 does, however, have a number of injury concerns, forcing selectors to name an extended 20 man squad.

    But providing all players pass their physical examinations, the only change to the side will be Michael Jennings or Brett Morris returning from injury and replacing Will Hopoate, who was ruled out with injury himself.

    The Blues selection continuity clearly indicates that NSW believe their strategy of selecting a mobile, athletic and rangy forward pack will once again be the key to defeating the Maroons.

    Momentum and confidence are wonderful qualities to have in sport, and NSW enter the deciding match with an abundance of both.

    But if they think that will be enough to defeat a fired up Queensland, playing at home, and desperate to send Darren Lockyer out a winner, they’ll be sorely mistaken.

    Anthony Minichello
    It would have been sheer madness to drop ‘The Count’ after his stellar game 2 performance, and he justifiably earns another sky blue jumper. Minichello’s defensive positioning was outstanding and it went a long way to neutering the Maroons potent kicking game.

    Jarryd Hayne
    Some pundits thought Hayne had a quiet game in Sydney, but more than anything else, it indicates the high benchmark he’s set for himself.

    He was very good, particularly in defence, and his move into the centres should see him get more attacking opportunities in Brisbane.

    Mark Gasnier
    ‘Gaz’ was outstanding in defence, partnering with Dragons teammates Jamie Soward and Beau Scott to totally shut down the Maroons dangerous left side attack.

    However, he’s yet to fully unleash his attacking ability in the 2011 Origin series, and the Blues will be hoping his skills are on show game 3.

    Brett Morris
    Returns to the Blues set-up after overcoming his hamstring injury, and if he plays, he’ll be under a little bit of pressure. He made a costly defensive error in game 1, and Queensland believes he’s somewhat of a weak link.

    Michael Jennings
    The Penrith centre has made a miraculous recovery from injury. Or so NSW hope. He was one of the Blues best in game 1 and if he can prove his fitness, it will set up a tantalising clash with Justin Hodges.

    Akuila Uate
    Looks dangerous every time he touches the ball, and NSW would be well served by providing him with more opportunities. With his scant regard for personal safety on his cannonball-like runs, he’s rapidly becoming a crowd favourite.

    Jamie Soward
    Started very slowly in game 2, before taking command of the game. Quick and skilful, when he attacks the line, NSW are a different side.

    However, he simply can’t afford to take 30 minutes to get into the game – NSW need him firing from the kick off.

    Mitchell Pearce
    Like Soward, he started slowly in Sydney, and his kicking game was woeful early on. But once he settled, he played very well, and set up the Blues first try.

    His defence, highlighted by his smothering tackles on Sam Thaiday, has been nothing short of brilliant.

    Greg Bird
    The prototype of the NSW forward pack: strong, skilful and versatile. He was outstanding in game 1, solid in game 2, and is fired up to lead the Blues to a series victory in game 3.

    Ben Creagh
    Ran some beautiful lines in Sydney, making lots of ‘sneaky’ meters. He was one of the keys to the Blues constant go forward with his incisive cuts back into the middle of the park.

    Beau Scott
    I’m embarrassed to admit that I thought Scott was overrated. Now I can’t rate him highly enough. Tough, strong and always itching for a contest. An absolutely outstanding defender who has been a thorn in Queensland’s side in both games.

    Paul Gallen (c)
    Thoroughly deserved all the kudos he received after his game 2 performance. No hyperbole here: it was one of the greatest individual matches in Origin history. Gallen is proving to be an inspirational and dream skipper for the Blues.

    Michael Ennis
    The niggly hooker is certainly a polarising figure. Half of NSW fans love his passion, tenacity and ability to get under the Maroons skins. The other half think he’s a grub destined to cost NSW a victory via a brain snap.

    Both sets of fans are probably right.

    Tim Mannah
    NSW will simply ask for more of the same from the workman-like Parramatta prop. Run hard and strong. Tackle hard and strong.

    Trent Merrin
    Has yet to have any real impact on the Origin series. He now has a few games under his belt, and NSW will be hoping game 3 is when he closes the gap between potential and actually delivering.

    Kurt Gidley
    Came off the bench and gave the Blues a real spark at dummy half, before moving into the centres when Hopoate got injured.

    He’s under an injury cloud, but he’ll be doing everything he can to prove his fitness, so that he can get a five year old monkey off his back.

    Luke Lewis
    Scored NSW’s opening try and was a roadblock in defence. Like Bird, Lewis epitomises the NSW forward pack, and can fill any number roles for coach Ricky Stuart.

    Anthony Watmough
    Broken record time: this guy is made for Origin. An absolute firecracker off the bench, Watmough throws his body into everything he does, in both attack and defence. Uncompromising, tough and talented, he’s the proverbial bull in the China shop.

    Keith Galloway
    The Tigers prop receives a call-up to the NSW team, and many believe it’s long overdue. Big Red will give 100% if called upon, but I think this selection is an encouragement award, and Galloway won’t actually play.

    He certainly doesn’t fit into NSW’s newly adopted strategy of speed!

    Glen Stewart
    Stewart is essentially covering Beau Scott, who has an injury concern. But Stewart has performed well for the Blues before, and he certainly ticks the boxes of skill, athleticism and versatility.

    Ryan O
    Ryan O'Connell

    Ryan is an ex-representative basketballer who shot too much, and a (very) medium pace bowler. He's been with The Roar as an expert since February 2011, has written for the Seven Network, and been a regular on ABC radio. Ryan tweets from @RyanOak.

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    The Crowd Says (40)

    • June 26th 2011 @ 5:47pm
      Hospital said | June 26th 2011 @ 5:47pm | ! Report

      Nothing too unexpected here from Sticky, and it’s a solid team although the injuries are a worry, and to make matters worse, the Monday night game (STI vs Manly) has at least eight NSW players in the lineups: Creagh, Gasnier, Merrin, B Morris, Scott, Soward, G.Stewart, Watmough

    • June 26th 2011 @ 5:51pm
      Damo said | June 26th 2011 @ 5:51pm | ! Report

      Maroons by 26

      • June 29th 2011 @ 5:14pm
        G Wells said | June 29th 2011 @ 5:14pm | ! Report

        Obviously didnt watch the 1st or 2nd origin, Qld by 26? what a joke from an obviously 1 eyed supporter living in the past.
        Blues time to shine buddy, will be veryt close with the blues getting up in golden point.

    • June 26th 2011 @ 7:00pm
      Stu said | June 26th 2011 @ 7:00pm | ! Report

      Again, complacency is QLD’s only danger. QLD have something to play for this game and should win by a fair margin.

      Comment left via The Roar’s iPhone app. Download The Roar’s iPhone App in the App Store here.

    • Roar Guru

      June 26th 2011 @ 7:14pm
      ScottWoodward.me said | June 26th 2011 @ 7:14pm | ! Report

      Anthony Minichello
      Mini was back to his poor club form again today literally walking when the Knights Mata’utia strolled in for an embarrassing try. I’m sure Mal Meninga will be happy that he is playing.
      Jarryd Hayne
      Will he be reported and outed for a deliberate elbow to the head of a player?
      Mark Gasnier
      Inglis has always finished on top of him in Origin, but with Lyon not available he is the only right side class centre.
      Brett Morris
      Formerly regarded as the world’s best winger. He will always be in my top side.
      Michael Jennings
      Must be a risk to play and he will struggle to contain Justin Hodges.
      Akuila Uate
      He is simply the best wingman in the world and could end up the best ever.
      Jamie Soward
      I don’t really see him as a genuine Origin player but he has exceeded my expectations so far. His normally brilliant kicks have been nervous early on and NSW cannot win without his best.
      Mitchell Pearce
      He went awful for his club again today but lifts for Origin. He will never be as good as Thurston but his best effort could be good enough.
      Greg Bird
      Another who has let his club down but lifts for Origin. Often plays dumb trying to offload impossible passes but entitled to hold his place although the Blues have better options.
      Ben Creagh
      One of the key reasons why the Dragons have gone so well over the last two years, he does not have many faults in his game and is strong in offence and defence.
      Beau Scott
      Wonderful worker on the right side but he is very limited in attack. He cannot do what Lewis, Watmough and Stewart can do at both ends.
      Paul Gallen (c)
      The best forward in the world (hookers excepted) by the length of the straight.
      Michael Ennis
      Cost NSW victory in game I and I would have Gidley starting and playing for 80 Mins which means without Ennis the Blues can add another impact player like Idris.
      Tim Mannah
      He is a handy plugger, no more.
      Trent Merrin
      Has not been handled well by Stuart and his confidence cannot be high.
      Kurt Gidley
      World class and should be the starting hooker.
      Luke Lewis
      One of the world’s best forwards and should start.
      Anthony Watmough
      Plays dumb and you can budget for a penalty or a missed play the ball but he is a handful for tired forwards and you want him in the trenches.
      Keith Galloway
      Another handy prop who needs to go to another level to make this grade, maybe he can.
      Glen Stewart
      Central to why Manly are going so well. High work rate with ball skills and offers more to a team than the robotic Scott.

      • June 27th 2011 @ 8:20am
        Ken said | June 27th 2011 @ 8:20am | ! Report

        re: Inglis vs Gasnier – you should check Game 1 2008 – Gasnier made Inglis look silly that night. Certainly Inglis returned the favour in Game 2 but I think apart from those games, honours would be about even (they’ve only opposed each other a handful of times). Certainly in the 1 game this series they both played neither could be said to have dominated the other.

        Certainly agree with your assessment of Uate though – he’s dynamite, love to watch him go

        • June 27th 2011 @ 2:33pm
          Big Time said | June 27th 2011 @ 2:33pm | ! Report

          I agree, Inglis vs Gasnier is a pretty even affair. Both tend to cancel the other out. It was only in those two games where either really got the upper hand on the other.

          You obviously don’t like Scott, but mistake free footballer who complements the others in the pack. He is aggressive and intimidating. You know what you are going to get with him. He hits up when no one else will, he tackles anyone within his area, he has the occasional offload, when the biff is on he is there. You have to have these sort of blokes in your side.

          • Roar Guru

            June 27th 2011 @ 2:47pm
            ScottWoodward.me said | June 27th 2011 @ 2:47pm | ! Report

            Big Time
            I dont dislike him….it is just everything he can do Watmough, Lewis and Stewart can do and they offer more in attack. Lets be honest he is there to protect Soward.

            • Columnist

              June 27th 2011 @ 3:20pm
              Ryan O'Connell said | June 27th 2011 @ 3:20pm | ! Report

              His contribution in attack is keeping Soward fresh – protecting him, like you say.

              That’s good enough for me.

      • June 27th 2011 @ 5:43pm
        JamesM said | June 27th 2011 @ 5:43pm | ! Report

        Brett Morris is ‘the best winger in the world’? Get serious……he’s not even the best winger in THE DRAGONS.
        He’s had FOUR shots at Origin now and bombed in all four of them. Queensland are right, he is a wink link and a liability to NSW’s Game 3 chances. He goes well at club level when running off the outside play of Darius Boyd and Matt Cooper, but has proven he simply doesnt have the stomach for Origin football.
        Nothing personal against Morris, but when it comes to Origin, he just doesnt have it.

    • June 26th 2011 @ 11:25pm
      Droppa said | June 26th 2011 @ 11:25pm | ! Report

      The Qld side was rattled by the mobile NSW pack last time.
      If the game is tight i see NSW finishing the better but how many times have NSW been in this position before only to be behind after 5 minutes & chasing the game.
      If its 10 all with 15 to go i’d back NSW .If we let em get 18-6 in front forget it.
      also i think Hodges must be suspect .Hodges may be the weak link for Qld

      • Roar Guru

        June 27th 2011 @ 2:48pm
        ScottWoodward.me said | June 27th 2011 @ 2:48pm | ! Report

        Droppa
        Hodges is the best centre in the game.

        • June 27th 2011 @ 9:06pm
          Droppa said | June 27th 2011 @ 9:06pm | ! Report

          Thats arquable but i’m talking about the hamstring.

          As i’ve observed throughout the years of following footy a hamstring is usually a ten week injury but they always come back after four or fives weeks & reinjure it.
          Hodges did his 14th may.
          suspect i reckon.

          • Roar Guru

            June 27th 2011 @ 9:17pm
            ScottWoodward.me said | June 27th 2011 @ 9:17pm | ! Report

            Fanks Dr Droppa

            He could have played 2 weeks ago and wanted to but they held him back. The Broncos get world class medical advice and they have a conservative coach. He will be fine.

            • June 27th 2011 @ 11:35pm
              Droppa said | June 27th 2011 @ 11:35pm | ! Report

              Give fanks to the tooth fairy while your at it.
              you’ll be eating your cane toad words next week.
              pages & pages of em it looks like lolol

    • Roar Guru

      June 27th 2011 @ 10:14am
      M1tch said | June 27th 2011 @ 10:14am | ! Report

      Lets hope the injuries heal asap, If Gidley is out though theres no real replacement.

      • Roar Pro

        June 27th 2011 @ 2:34pm
        matthewthorpe said | June 27th 2011 @ 2:34pm | ! Report

        Todd Carney as a utility player off the bench?

        • Roar Guru

          June 27th 2011 @ 2:42pm
          M1tch said | June 27th 2011 @ 2:42pm | ! Report

          I would like to see Hinchcliffe get a go, he was was selected he would probably start with Ennis off bench.

      • Roar Guru

        June 27th 2011 @ 2:49pm
        ScottWoodward.me said | June 27th 2011 @ 2:49pm | ! Report

        M1itch
        Gids will play.

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